The busiest man in NASCAR took time out of his schedule yesterday to spend time with some of Arizona’s youth and their families at ISM Raceway ahead of the Bluegreen Vacations 500. Ross Chastain, who drives in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series and will compete in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series Lucas Oil 150 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway in November, hosted children from HopeKids for lunch, a tour of ISM Raceway, hot laps and some fun with his favorite fruit, watermelon.
“It’s personalities like Ross that draws in new fans to our sport and especially our younger fans,” said ISM Raceway President Julie Giese. “Ross has an incredible passion for racing and for community, and that really shined yesterday at ISM Raceway. We can’t wait to host him in November for the Bluegreen Vacations 500 Weekend and look forward to seeing him compete for a spot in the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series during the Lucas Oil 150.”
Chastain, an eighth-generation watermelon farmer, shared his need for speed and his love for watermelon with HopeKids. Following lunch and hot laps, Chastain assisted the children in building Levy Restaurants’ all-new Watermelon Wheel that will be made available at the upcoming Bluegreen Vacations 500 Weekend. HopeKids, along with their siblings, built their Sweet Watermelon Wheels featuring its list of ingredients including honey, vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi and mint leaves. Levy also had on hand their all-new Spicy Watermelon Wheels featuring jalapenos, cayenne pepper, red chili flakes, olive oil, salt and cilantro. Both versions of the Watermelon Wheel will be available for purchase during the Bluegreen Vacations 500 at the Miller Lite Beer Garden inside ISM Raceway’s INfield.
To culminate their day at the track, HopeKids joined Chastain once more at the start/finish line just ahead of ISM Raceway’s iconic dogleg and took part in Chastain’s favorite postrace celebration by smashing watermelons on the track in hopes to provide a little bit of good luck for Chastain ahead of the Bluegreen Vacations 500 Weekend.
A video highlight of Chastain and HopeKids is available for viewing here.
Chastain and all the stars of NASCAR will return to the Valley of the Sun for the Bluegreen Vacations 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semi-Final Weekend at ISM Raceway, November 8-10. Fans can lock in their tickets for the action-packed weekend by visiting ISMRaceway.com, calling 866-408-RACE (7223), or stopping by the ISM Raceway ticket office during regular business hours.